Michael Goar

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Interim MPS super says this is no time to ‘play scared’

Michael Goar (r) with Michael Walker, director of MPS Office of Black Male Achievement.

If the Minneapolis School Board approves it, Interim Superintendent Michael Goar plans to “right size” the district. “What we are proposing are the things that I will be focusing on as superintendent for the next four months,” says Goar, who was named Bernadeia Johnson’s interim successor in December and assumed his new duties Feb. 2.
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New MPS director to focus on Black male achievement

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) now has in place their new office that will specifically look at Black male student achievement. Michael Walker, a longtime district employee and most recently Roosevelt High School assistant principal, was selected as the first director of the district’s Office of Black Male Student Achievement. He begins work July 28. The district’s Black males are “a very narrow group,” admits MPS CEO Michael Goar when oft-asked why this student population is receiving so much focused attention. Eliminating the achievement gap between Black males and their MPS peers has presented “persistent challenges for the community” as well for the district, stated Goar. Continue Reading →

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New MPS programs to focus on Black male student achievement

Unified office, more instruction, more teachers planned

This story concludes our report on new MPS initiatives to address disparities that began with last week’s story, “Mpls Public Schools to assess impact of all policies, procedures on race equity.”


Second in a two-part  story 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


A new Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) department “aimed at accelerating academic strategies and reducing the achievement gap” has been established. The primary reason for the office is that there are multiple programs within MPS Central Office “that are doing similar work and as long as these [five] departments are in a silo and not connected together, we are not going to have a comprehensive, unified vision on how we allocate and be more thoughtful [on a] strategic way to deliver services,” explains CEO Michael Goar, who adds that a search for someone to head the new office is currently underway. “We want to make sure that all of our students of color will be just as successful as our White students,” pledges James Burroughs, MPS equality and diversity director. MPS serves approximately 36,000-plus students “and we’re growing,” reiterates Goar. “When you look at our student population, you are talking about the majority of our kids are kids of color. Continue Reading →

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Mpls Public Schools to assess impact of all policies, procedures on race equity

Community members encouraged to participate and be heard

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) officials have announced that all future district policies, practices, programs and procedures, as well as the allocation of resources “that have a significant impact on student learning,” will be assessed for equity and diversity “so that no community is disproportionately impacted.”

A new Equity and Diversity Assessment policy is now in place, said Equality and Diversity Executive Director James Burroughs in a recent MSR interview at the school’s Davis Center headquarters. “It basically says that all of our practices, policies and procedures as we go forward will undergo an Equity Impact Assessment,” he explained. “It’s about a four- or five-page document [applied to] any decision that we make, how are they impacting our families, especially our families of color who traditionally have been underserved by us. But now we are making a conscious and intentional effort to make sure that they are served better.”

The assessment also will help evaluate how MPS decisions “are impacting our communities,” Burroughs pointed out. “Who’s at the table when we are making decisions on Black boys? Continue Reading →

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